By Alin Gregorian
BOSTON — Stepanakert, the home of Archbishop Pargev Martirossian, the Primate of the Karabagh Diocese, is a world away from the US, but for this ambassador of this tiny republic and man of God, no distance is too great to spread the word about Karabagh.
Martirossian is Karabagh’s first archbishop since the 1930s. The late Catholicos of All Armenians Vazken I appointed him in 1989 to the post. “Moscow allowed it,” he said, much to the chagrin of Azeri authorities. Martirossian, who was given the name Gurgen at birth, was born in Sumgait, Azerbaijan, to a family from the northern Karabagh town of Chardakhly. He entered the Gevorkian Seminary in Echmiadzin in 1980. He was ordained in 1983 and graduated in 1984. In 1985 he was ordained a celibate priest and given the name Pargev. He was made a bishop by Vazken I in 1988 and was named an archbishop by the late Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin I in 1999.
Martirossian stopped for an interview during his short visit to Boston, part of his tour of the US in support of the Armenia Fund Telethon, scheduled to take place on Thanksgiving Day.